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Getting set for an unprecedented push, External Affairs doesn’t look far for leadership

December 1, 2010


President Bierman has made no bones about his ambitions for the college—or where he expects the dollars to come from that will better fund Beloit’s people, places, and programs. As Bierman said at Fall Conference in August, Jeff Puckett, then the brand new vice president for external affairs, is his Obi Wan—and his “new BFF.”

And the division he leads? It’s key to seeing Beloit’s star continue to rise and shine.

With that work in mind, and no time to lose, Puckett says he has spent his first three months on campus trying to set up shop for fundraising gains that he told Academic Senate in September would be “ambitious… and unprecedented.” (President Bierman has said that annual fund giving must, for one thing, double to $5 million by 2015.)

To that end, Puckett announced a revision last Tuesday to the current staff structure that he believes will make better use of the considerable talents within the college’s friend- and fund-raising division, as well as two new additions to the team.

Beginning in the new year, Susan Cleverdon, Beloit’s executive director of gift planning, will move to a new position as the vice president’s senior advisor for strategic initiatives. Tim McKearn, currently the director of development, will take over as director of major gifts, where he will have the talents of Leslie Kidder’02 (currently the East Coast gift officer), now assistant director of major gifts for parent giving and capital support. Mark Wold’95, assistant director of corporate and foundation support, will become the new director of annual support programs and leadership giving. Katie Biscoe’01, a gift officer on the West Coast, will join Wold as assistant director for class giving.

In addition to these changes, Beth Monteiro has been selected to serve Beloit in a newly created position—the executive director of development operations and gift planning. Monteiro comes to the college from the Washington State University Foundation, where she most recently served as staff attorney and director of board relations, human resources, biographical records, and information technology. She brings additional experience in gift planning, prospect research and management, stewardship and donor relations, and annual giving to Beloit College’s External Affairs team (not to mention she’s a former colleague of Puckett’s). In her new role, she will help set up and manage External Affairs’ operational processes and oversee best practices aimed at improving the college’s interactions with friends and supporters, and corporate and government entities. She and her family will relocate to Beloit over the holidays, and Monteiro will begin life on campus Tuesday, Jan. 4.

Late yesterday, Beloit College alumni learned about another new addition—one that was also found close to home. Alumna Ruth Vater’05, a former assistant director for annual giving (and the founder of the college’s Habitat for Humanity chapter), will begin her tenure as the college’s senior director of alumni and parent relations on Monday, Jan. 31. Vater returns to Beloit after three years in Washington, D.C., as a consultant with the economic consulting firm, Bates White, LLC.

As Puckett said to senior staff on Monday, Nov. 22 – “the pieces are coming together.” The division is also planning a campus reception in February to introduce colleagues to the new staff and to celebrate the new roles existing staff will play in the division. Stay tuned for details.